NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Stocks opened sharply lower Tuesday, amid renewed fears of a eurozone debt crisis and concerns about the global economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average () was down 268 points, or 2.4%, shortly after the opening bell. The SP 500 ( ) fell 29 points, or 2.5%, and the Nasdaq Composite ( ) sank 53 points, or 2.1%.
Stocks in Europe were also under pressure. The DAX () in Germany fell 1.3% and France’s CAC ( ) 40 was down 1.3%. Britain’s FTSE ( ) 100 held modest gains.
European markets plunged Monday amid ongoing worries that unresolved debt problems in Greece may be spreading to larger nations such as Italy and Spain.
The Swiss National Bank moved to stabilize the nation’s currency on Tuesday. In a move to protect the currency from Europe’s dept woes, the bank set a minimum exchange rate at 1.20 Swiss francs per euro.
Investors flocked to the safety of Treasuries on Tuesday. The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury rose, pushing the yield down to a record low level of 1.91% from 2% late Friday.
U.S. stocks took a hit Friday, ending sharply lower after the government report showing no job growth in August. The latest read on the labor market renewed fears that the United States may be headed into another recession. On Monday, the U.S. markets were closed in observance of the Labor Day.
Risk of recession just got worse
“We’re going to have to see how much carry over there is for the employment numbers,” said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank. According to McCain, fearful investors have done enough selling and will be looking to see whether there’s “shocking new news.”
The question they’ll be asking is “do we exceed expectations on the downside?” he said.
Economy: Investors will get the Institute for Supply Management’s services report for August at 10 a.m. ET. Economists expect a reading of 51, down from July’s reading of 52.7. Any reading above 50 signifies expansion.
Companies: Shares of Bank of America (Fortune 500) fell 5% in premarket trading, after reports surfaced that the bank could cut 30,000 workers over several years.,
On Friday, the federal agency overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac filed lawsuits against 17 financial institutions. The lawsuits cited Bank of America, Citigroup (Fortune 500), JPMorgan Chase ( , Fortune 500) and Goldman Sachs ( , Fortune 500); and were filed in an attempt to recover billions of dollars in losses from risky mortgage investments.,
Shares of Citigroup were also down 4% in premarket trading.
Auto parts retailer Pep Boys () will report quarterly earnings after the market’s close.
Brace for profit forecasts to be reeled in
World markets: Asian markets ended mixed. The Shanghai Composite () slipped 0.3% and Japan’s Nikkei ( ) fell 2.2%, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong ( ) rose 0.5%.
Currencies and commodities: The dollar fell against the euro, British pound and the Japanese yen.
Oil for October delivery tumbled $2.95 to $83.50 a barrel.
Gold futures for December delivery rose $16.30 to $1,893.20 an ounce. The precious metal hit an intraday record earlier Tuesday of $1,923.70 an ounce.